Peanut-free classrooms and schools to be eyed by Fairfield-Suisun Unified

By From page A3 | July 09, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Practices including peanut-free classrooms and schools will go before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees for review after trustees said Thursday that a district-wide policy prohibiting peanut products couldn’t be enforced and heard that Fairfield schools served 183,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this year.

Two community members had proposed changes to the school district policy and Bud Nobili, a former Placer County Superintendent of Schools whose 4-year-old grandson will begin kindergarten next school year in Fairfield-Suisun Unified, told trustees that peanut allergies are life-threatening.

He said current school district policies increase chances a child with such allergies will come into contact with peanut products.

An end to nutrition services preparing food with peanut products was among sample policies before trustees.

Trustee John Silva said a prohibition on peanut products would involve asking parents of 20,000 students in Fairfield-Suisun schools to restrict snacks their children can bring take to schools.

Parents who don’t have a lot of money would face expenses if the district policy were changed, Silva said.

David Isom, president of the board of trustees, said ” A lot of children can’t afford to eat much other than peanut butter and jelly.”

Trustee Pat Shamansky said it would be virtually impossible to put in place a prohibition on peanut products and that school officials can’t tell families what food items can be brought to school.

“We don’t take this lightly,” she added of the health issues children with peanut allergies face.

Shamansky said she is interested in a site-by-site approach addressing the issue.

Trustees are expected to take up the matter again at their first meeting in August.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]


Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 9 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeJuly 08, 2014 - 1:34 am

    Schools are supposed to prepare kids for life. You think your boss is going to give up reeses cups for you?

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  • 2realJuly 08, 2014 - 5:50 am

    Id like to propose a nut free council.

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  • Tired of WasteJuly 08, 2014 - 6:06 am

    I read the headline and thought "Good, they are going to get rid of consultant-hiring, junket-taking bureaucrats." Too bad I was wrong!

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  • brandyJuly 08, 2014 - 3:08 pm

    The article refers to peanuts and peanut products as nuts when in fact they are legumes.

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  • Mr. SmithJuly 08, 2014 - 9:19 pm

    Brandy: According to the candy people, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!

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  • JimboJuly 08, 2014 - 5:35 pm

    WhAAAAAA, Who cares if someone might die when I go out of my way to teach my brat to act so very entitled to everything it wants including peanuts. Now our family is such victims. WhAAAAAAAaaaaaaa.

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  • JimboJuly 08, 2014 - 5:36 pm


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  • Fairfield DADJuly 09, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    The peanut allergy problem is growing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that peanut allergies tripled between 1997 and 2008 and the number doubled again in the last 5 years. The National Institutes of Health has concluded that 5 million Americans suffer from food allergies and it is estimated that as many as 6 to 8% of children suffer from peanut allergies. Schools are very likely to be the place where a student will come in contact with peanut products that can trigger allergic or severe anaphylactic reactions. Fairfield-Suisun School District had 2 documented ambulance dispatched incidents in the last 6 months. Elementary schools sites pose more risk of exposure than in middle schools or high schools where older, more independent students are more capable of self-monitoring of their allergy. I can understand how one might feel that that a peanut ban would be a inconvenience, hardship or infringement on their rights- can those who feel that way understand the daily fear a parent of a 5 or 6 year old who lives with a deadly allergy. Empathy. Hopefully parents of non allergic students can come to the point of feeling fortunate that their child doesn’t suffer from this potentially life threatening allergy.I have seen the results of my 4 year old son's exposure to peanut products and do not wish this on any child whether he/she be a kindergarten student or High School student. I wish that the feelings, emotions and fear associated with seeing a loving child experience the onset of symptoms associated with peanut allergies did not exist. Symptoms that we all know could, at any time, escalate well beyond what can be dealt with by the simple use of an Epipen injection. I do not wish that on anyone and feel strongly that there is compelling evidence to support the adoption of any policy that may safeguard against my or your child going through that on campus. If there is anything that can be done to eliminate or further reduce the risk of harm for a student, ours or anyone else’s, it should be done.

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  • FedUpJuly 09, 2014 - 11:15 pm

    Fairfield Dad, if you take a look at the rise in the use of GMO foods it parrellels the rise in food allergies in children in the US. Watch a Robin O'Brien's TED Talk to see. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rixyrCNVVGA

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